My Summer Soirees Sailing Experience - by Ceri Jacks 

After a long year of restrictions and minimised travel, Ceri Jacks, our Senior Luxury Travel Specialist, had the pleasure of boarding the beautiful Scarlet Lady for the Summer Soirees Series sailing around Portsmouth this August. Here’s what she had to say about her trip:

Arrival: Arrival at the COVID testing site – 12pm.  Upon arrival, we had our passport checked and swabs taken, we were then lead through to a holding area where there were plenty of people buzzing about to answer any questions.  Eventually, my name was called to go to a check in table where my negative test result was confirmed, and I was given a blue wristband to show that I had a negative result.  We were then taken by coach to the terminal to transfer through security and join the coach to the boarding point.  There were a lot of staff around and a stream of crew when finally on board, all with big smiles while cheering us on board.

Check in: Cheeky Corner Suite – Biggest Terrace.  Wow, this was a big surprise!  What a beautiful suite, so much room and a massive terrace with loungers, a sofa and hammock.  The bar was fully stocked with chargeable spirits, wines, and beers, along with Moet, white wine, red wine and rose which was complimentary as part of the suite package. The bathroom was marble with a large walk in shower, a large sink and Red Flower toiletries which smelt amazing, the whole cabin smelt amazing after every shower.  We had two luxury shower robes and slippers. The iPad controlled the lighting, TV, opened and closed the curtains, gave us a full safety video which was brilliant, and gave us contact to our Rockstar agent who was there to help us with anything at all.  You can also order ‘Ship Eats’ from your app or the iPad, which is free of charge in suites, however deliveries are charged at $5 for cabins.  We had a record player and a Bose speaker for tunes, and a cute little seating area next to the bar.  

Dining - Pink Agave: We managed to book dinner in 4 restaurants.  Our first night we ate at Pink Agave which was amazing.  Our waiter was Mexican and made us feel like we were sitting in an actual Mexican Restaurant in Mexico.  Everything was so authentic, the food was fabulous, especially the chocolate tacos!  Whilst in this restaurant, you have to experience the tequila library, I’ve never seen anything like it!

Dining - Test Kitchen: Our dinner the following night was at Test Kitchen.  I have seriously never eaten such amazing food accompanied by a wine flight with every course! It really was an unforgettable experience.

Dining - Extra Virgin: Extra Virgin was a very quaint restaurant, again fantastic food and service with a spectacular view through a large porthole out over the horizon.

Dining - Razzle Dazzle: Razzle Dazzle is so cool, the surroundings are bright and vibrant and the menu is too.  I had a watermelon pizza for breakfast which was not what I expected but very refreshing.

Dining - The Wake: On our last night we dined at The Wake which felt very special.  We ordered the seafood platter which was amazing, a tall stand with 4 layers of all different shell fish including oysters, lobster tails and mussels which were delicious

Exploring: We spent our days roaming around the ship discovering so many cool areas, the running track around the Perch is the highest part of the ship with an amazing view of the horizon.  We also drank champagne whilst chilling in the largest hot tub at sea.  The gym was amazing with a massive variety of equipment (not that I used any of it).  There was a basketball court, a boxing ring, a playground with swings, a slide and a seasaw! 

Entertainment: We decided to go to the Red Room one evening to see a comedian which was hilarious.  The next night we saw Duel Reality which is a sensational show, nothing like I have ever seen before.  A team of acrobats who kept us on the edge of our seats whilst performing nail biting feats whilst telling a love story, just amazing. One evening, there was a pool party and Scarlet night which had the whole ship lit up in red, everyone encouraged to wear red and pop up acts and performances taking place throughout the ship.

I can definitely confirm that my experience on Scarlet Lady was an unforgettable one to say the least! Virgin Voyages really have shaken up the cruise industry.